Schools Cannot Do It Alone tells of Jamie Vollmer’s extraordinary journey through the land of public education. Once a harsh critic, he has become an award-winning advocate and trusted partner of America's public schools. His encounters with blueberries, bell curves and smelly eighth graders lead him to two critical discoveries. First, we have a systems problem, not a people problem. We must change the system to get the graduates we need. Second, we can't touch the system without touching the culture of the surrounding town; everything that goes on inside a school is tied to local attitudes, values, traditions and beliefs.
Drawing on his work in hundreds of districts, Jamie offers teachers, administrators, board members and their allies a practical program to secure the understanding, trust, permission and support they need to change the system and increase student success.
The book is available through our online Bookstore, and will be available at the conference Bookstore.
Farmington School Board Member Book Review
The brilliance of Jamie Vollmer's book is that he was a CEO and strong proponent of the "standards" and "accountability" reform agenda for education until he started spending time with educators on the front lines. He began to realize how damaging and ineffective this approach is to reforming public education in the U.S. Vollmer isn't a defender of the status quo, and lays out quite clearly the imperative for change. He also holds us all responsible for change, including so many community members whose nostalgic views of the past hold schools back from making the kind of structural change needed to sustain themselves in the 21st century. Any business or political leader making serious decisions about public education must read this book - it's a clarion call for the kind of reform that's really needed in today's world.
Kate Pettersen, Secretary
Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education